Washie 100 Miler, a grueling test in endurance and strength

THE atmosphere was tense as the final moments approached at the start of the 41st Washie 100 Miler, which kicked off on Friday evening. Altogether 83 athletes entered this year’s Washie 100 Miler, South Africa’s most grueling road race, to take on the 160 km overnight journey from Port Alfred to East London.

After completing a circular route in Port Alfred, the runners took on the R72 in a battle against distance, time and mental strength.

In the end only 65 runners completed the race with the remaining 18 not making the halfway cut off time, or withdrawing from the race.

Washie 100 Miler veteran and record holder, Johan van der Merwe came in first place with a time of 15 hours:five minutes and 42 seconds, allegedly Van der Merwe entered last minute.

Race favourite, Wandisile Nongodlwana, who ran an excellent comrades, had his debut Washie 100 Miler, and finished in a highly creditable 2nd place overall, in a good time of 16:08:16.

Max Msane finished in third place, with a time of 17:10:00. If the 160km distance wasn’t enough, Tobie Reyneke from the Magnolia Road Runners Club in Pretoria, running for a charitable cause did the Washie 100 Miler back to back. After crossing the finish line in East London with a time of 21:49:47, Reyneke “ran” back to Port Alfred. Reyneke ran the Washie 100 Miler back to back to raise funds and awareness for TEARS Foundation, a non profit organisation that provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

In the end a tired and weary completed the 322km circuit in a time of 62:21:08.

WATCH: Toby Reyneke as he finishes the last stage of Washie 100 Miler back to back.

See full story in this week’s edition of TotT.